MTN exits Jumia

MTN exits Jumia

Telecommunications giant, MTN has divested its 18.9 per cent stake in online retailer, Jumia Technologies at $138m (Shs515.4b).

In its quarterly performance update, MTN Group chief executive officer Ralph Mupita, said the telecom would no longer own shares in Jumia.

“We have now fully exited … Jumia, realising … $138m. We are proud to have been a partner in the evolution of one of Africa’s pioneering online marketplace,” Mr Mupita said in a statement.

Jumia, listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, suffered massive volatilities immediately after the listing.

The company, which raised $196m at the initial public offering has since experienced a drop in share price, tumbling from $49.77 per share to $16.

MTN had wanted to sell its stake in October after the lapse of a six-month lock-in, which meant that the telecom would not sell its stake, but was affected by the diminished value.

Mr Robert Shuter, the then MTN Group chief executive officer, told media it was unfortunate that the value of the Jumia stock had fallen tremendously.

Jumia’s troubles stem from a report in which it was accused of not listing a number of inconsistencies in its prospectus and fraud perpetrated by falsified sales in Nigeria.

The exit from Jumia was part of MTN’s a programme in which, in March 2019, the telecom sought to reduce debt, simplify its portfolio, reduce risk and improve returns, among others.

In Uganda, MTN has already sold its tower business to Eaton Towers and earlier this year, the telecom announced that it would exit some Middle East markets as part of the asset realisation programme.

In the quarter ended September, MTN Uganda said it had grown its customer base from 13 million 13.7 million.

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